Scott's Thoughts: Sun, May 22, 2022

Total Reading Time: 6 mins

New Folks, First Steps, Next Steps, etc. – If you're new 'round here, you're gonna wanna download the app ( to keep your thumb on the "Pulse" of what's going on (incl signing up for the various ministry-specific emails, group txt updates, etc. The "Pulse Email" is a once weekly all-church update.) Also, we recognize there's a lot to digest when it comes to landing in a new church home. On the first Sun of every month, Next Steps is the place to begin to wisely discern how you might grow at FCC.

How to Interact With Sermons, Sermon Guide (SG) Changes, Inductive Bible Study – Speaking of the app, the "Sermon Guide" (on the "Home" page) is how we provide space to take notes during the sermon (on the little blue "comment" boxes along the right side. Feel free to do your old school quill and papyrus. It's all good.) Also, on the SG, you may have noticed some new additional "For Further Study" resources linked there, some of which will be sermon-specific and some of which are ongoing resources. Also—hopefully as soon as next week—we'll begin rolling out the first version of our new Inductive Bible Study format that will better adapt to Life Groups, Pillar Young Adult breakout groups, and individual study. Here's a hint at what that will look like...

“Inductive” Bible study is about going from particulars to principles by prayerfully studying the details in the text and the larger Scriptural context of a passage and allowing them to determine meaning and application.

  1. Observe: What does the text say?
    • Read the passage at least once, preferably multiple times.
    • Answer the 4 Ws: Where? When? Who? What? (Ex: author, location, original audience, cultural setting, etc.)
    • Are there any literary cues worthy of note? (Ex: key words/phrases, transition, repetition, parallel, comparison, contrast, etc.)
    • It's helpful at this point to consult a few resources: Study Bible notes, commentaries, Bible dictionaries/encyclopedias, etc.
  2. Interpret: What does the text mean?
    • How does the wider context help inform our understanding of this passage?
    • What other Scriptural passages touch on these themes and help provide a framework for understanding?
    • What are this passage's main points?
    • What is the one main principle God intended to communicate to the original audience?
  3. Apply: What is the text saying to us?
    • What doctrinal or theological truths does this text teach or reinforce? What part of that hits you most?
    • Which of FCC’s 7 Habits does the principle in “Interpret” #3 highlight?
    • What is the most important application of this passage to… the original audience? Our world? Our church? Your family, marriage, parenting, etc.? You?
    • What is God trying to tell you?!
    • What is your Next Step of “everyday boring faithfulness”?

A Lesson in How to Navigate the Web: Our "Featured" Feature on the App – At the top of the "Home" page of the app, we often keep a "carousel" of featured posts, info, sign-ups, etc. The little dots at the bottom show how many posts there are and those dots are interweb speak for "swipe to see the rest of them."

Re:generation as Discipleship Training – If you're new to us, (or you're not and you still haven't been through re:gen, please give it (more) serious consideration (as you assume it warrants)) because it is an important first step into learning not only how to find healing and freedom from the damage of sin, but it's how we care for souls, teach spiritual growth, and train for disciplemaking (read Bryan's story about re:gen as training for discipeship and disciplemaking. Good stuff, y'all.) And for all you super mature "I've been following Christ and studying the Bible my whole life" types who are sure you don't need it, please know we consider re:gen such an important unifying factor in how God is using our church that we "require" (as much as we can tactfully persuade and/or cajole) every "Leader" to go through it. So don't superficially write it off because it's a 12-step format. For us, it's much more; it's our model for biblically shepherding our people toward health and growth.

H7 Stories: Youngsters Serving, Adoption, Kids Camp, Hunting, etc. – Speaking of cool H7 stories like Bryan's, if you haven't been seeing these 3-5 min stories and you're a breathing human who could use some encouragement about how God is working in the lives of His people, make sure to check out these recent Tell the story stories. So. Good. Y'all. And if you haven’t been seeing such H7 stories, we have regular blurbs on “Latest News” (on the “Stay Informed” and “Pulse” pages on the app) that are quick 3-5 minutes stories of how God is using FCCers in cool ways.

Recent Elders Letter re Multisite – If you're not up to speed on where we are in the Multisite/3rd Campus process, you need to read this letter. I'm noting this one last time as another one will be going out soon(ish) with a campaign update and dates for go to the app and look at the top of the “Home” page. (Also, you can always see all our Elders Letters on the “Pulse” page of the app or at

The Slow "Revival" of Great Questions Answered (GQA) – Long story short, in the coming weeks you will notice the return of short biweekly(ish) GQA segments. I'll begin to finish "What Should I Look For in a Church?" and will work around to "What Are the Right Conditions for Leaving a Church?" Then I'm planning on a number of posts touching on being pro-life and answering objections made by those who support abortion. For a few previous posts, go to

Be Wise About the Nature of the Justice For Which You're Fighting – Yes, there is real injustice in the world. Yes, we as followers of Christ are morally obligated to do what we can to right wrongs, help feed the poor, and care for widows and orphans (and that most definitely includes babies in the womb!) And what I'm about to say doesn't at all mitigate the Scriptural command for Christ followers to care for the vulnerable among us and to right such wrongs. There is no shortage of needs for all of us within our own families and spheres of influence! But, the growing selfishness of the "standpoint epistemology" that is permeating our culture that says, 'Either you support my belief system and cater to me personally because I’m an intersectionally-defined victim or you hate me' cannot right the wrongs of societal injustices. This attitude is the exact opposite of the selfless sacrifice on which families, churches, and all such fruitful societal institutions are built and maintained. So, it is often more unwise than it feels to automatically give in to every expressed need, whether friends or family. What we need to do, as Christians, is be responsible for those under our care while continuing to fight for justice for the glory of Christ that will ultimately demand all creation's humble obedience to His Lordship. Don't let anyone tell you differently—proclaiming the gospel and Helping People Find and Follow Jesus is the most life-changing form of social justice possible.

Thank You for Serving on the Team! – I think I wrote this in the previous ST, but it's worth saying again... We are a church whose growth depends (way more heavily than most recognize) on the “everyday boring faithfulness” of so many FCCers who open doors with a smile, high five kiddos on their way into church, clean bathrooms, sweep floors, tow trailers, hand out literature, make coffee, prepare lessons, pray for their small group, stand ready to protect our children and doors, park away from the doors so guests have open spaces, etc., etc., etc. When I think of all the many ways our people faithfully embody humble service week after week, I often make the connection to passages like Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:1-16; Romans 12:3-8; or 1 Corinthians 12 that teaches, in verse 27, that each “individual member” of the body is “indispensable” (cf. v 22)! I am grateful to the Lord for the privilege of being part of a church that humbly serves with the gusto the cross deserves, no matter the role! Thank you for your everyday boring faithfulness. Be encouraged—for God is using it for our mission of Helping People Find and Follow Jesus!

Multisite Campaign Update, Actual Launch Date, Response Card/Form – As I've said previously, rather than constantly making extended asks for money for special projects, we preach the habit of Pursue(ing) generosity. (H5). and then we spend frugally to build a modest surplus that enables us to finance multisite ministry and outreach, pay our 16 staff, have a small amount of emergency funds, and launch a new campus when the time is right. (See this blog post re our “7 Factors in Launching Campuses”). After determining that Fall 2021 was too soon, we believe the Lord has shown us the time is right to launch our 3rd campus at South Greene High School on Sun, Oct 16! So we are asking for a commitment of 125 at each of our 3 campuses to Worship & Serve as well as $100k to help replenish the $300k we are spending to launch our new South Greene Campus. (FYI, as we mentioned at the Multisite Vision Night (MVN), as a result of the basic ‘financial vision’ mentioned above, we already have this $300k on-hand. But the $100k helps us launch strong and ensure our general fund and savings (which amount to ~$200k) needn’t be depleted. Btw, you can watch MVN on the app.

So… Since having launch our campaign early April, here's The Latest Info (through Sat, May 21):
  • Worship & Serve Commitments (of 125 per campus)
    • Afton: 79 (up from 59 two weeks ago)
    • Greeneville: 61 (up from 47 two weeks ago)
    • South Greene: 62 (up from 47 two weeks ago)
  • Financial Commitments (of $100,000)
    • Today: $36,650 given, $49,400 pledged
    • Two Weeks Ago: $34,500 given, $44,500 pledged
    • (And yes, I’m rounding up/down just a smidge, to make it easier to quickly mentally track.)

Bigtime thank you to everyone who has already jumped on-board. If you haven’t yet decided, please pick up a Multisite Response Card (or go to the carousel at the top of the Home page on the app, to ask how the Lord has called and blessed you to be involved. We're a couple more weeks from going public with dates for the rest of the 3rd campus launch timeline, Launch Team Mtgs (which involves all 3 campuses), preview services, and outreach opportunities. We’ll letcha know on the app, here in ST, upcoming Elders Letters, and in Campus Pastor spiels at the end of every service. If you’ve got any questions, hunt down me, a Campus Pastor, an Elder, a Staff Member, or someone you know who is in the know.
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